To prestigiously recognize the sacrifices of American veterans and servicemen, guys everywhere are partaking in the machismo of Marine tattoos. These regal symbols possess unmatched nobility.
For an inscrutably conservative approach to body art, nothing can trump the stimulating might of a U.S. Marine tattoo.
These masterpieces will invoke major pride and passionate responses. In fact, these astute logos will be worthy of universal exaltation.
There happens to be a lot of powerful imagery that frequently appears in Marine tattoos. These authoritative symbols include eagles, weapons and American flags. Many of the illustrations are intended to pay respect towards fallen soldiers. Individuals commonly get this kind of ink while a beloved family member is currently serving overseas.
To demonstrate the core values that originate from this branch of military, many men show off the Latin phrase, “Semper Fi.” As the official Marine motto, this statement summarizes the demonstrative appeal with shocking brevity. Of course, the translation of this slogan reads, “Always Faithful.”
As an added benefit, the Marines updated their tattoo policy in 2016 to be far more lenient towards body art in general. If you want to deploy, just make sure to check their guidelines before committing to a decadent inking. In the meantime, enjoy this handpicked assortment of military ink:
1. Bulldog Marines Tattoos
The USMC mascot, an English bulldog named Chesty Pullerton (currently Chesty XV in his now 15th incarnation), was named after the most decorated Marine in American history, “Chesty” Puller. Both the war hero and his canine namesake are emblematic of the spirit of the USMC. Common refrains amongst marines include “Chesty Puller never quit!” and “Tell Chesty Puller I did my best.” To carry his spirit – the USMC spirit – with you wherever you go is an honor and a privilege.
Stylistically a USMC bulldog tattoo lends itself to cartoon toughness. Some depictions have Chesty fleshed out into an actual soldier, but usually it’s a grimacing bulldog sporting an M1 helmet with spiked collar. The image lends itself well to American Traditional styling, while black and gray with heavy shading is also popular. Not many choose to go for realism in representing the mascot so bold outlines and a limited color palette is the norm.
2. Flag Themed/Red, White and Blue Marines Tattoos
There is no more directly patriotic vocation than a career in the armed forces. The thin red line standing between the glorious USA and those who would destroy her. So it makes sense that a lot of USMC tattoos would be flag themed. What better way to show off your love of country and your dedication to protecting her than with red, white and blue USMC imagery.
There are plenty of design options here. The eagle, a prominent aspect of the USMC logo, is already at home with the stars and stripes. For a more simplistic approach, USMC script with a red, white and blue/stars and stripes background.
3. Script Marines Tattoos
The USMC motto “Semper Fidelis” or “Semper Fi” meaning always loyal, or always faithful, is a perennial favorite for USMC ink. It’s simple and the words speak for themselves, both in their literal meaning and through their association with the Corps.
These tattoos are awesome for traditional script and suit a variety of imagery and color schemes. You have your black and grey obviously but there’s also red, white and blue, flag themed or a combination of script with logo or other USMC imagery.
While Semper Fidelis dominates, a simple USMC or the Greek letters for USMC (Upsilon Sigma Mu Chi) are also excellent choices.
4. Marines Tattoos Featuring Military Imagery
Using military imagery for your USMC ink throws the creative doors wide open. You’re giving your artist a lot of meat to work with here. Silhouetted soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima, knives, guns, shell casings are all versatile options conceptually and give great scope for individual interpretation.
These can be small, simple, hidden tattoos or large and lifelike scenes. This is also a way to separate from the pack a little as these broader military themed tattoos are far less common than some of the other styles and applications.
Military Patch Marines Tattoos
Military patches are the source of immeasurable pride for many soldiers. At the fore of the USMC mindset is commitment. Commitment to your country, commitment to your brothers in arms, commitment to your unit. Getting a permanent rendering of a military patch says it all: pride in your allegiance.
6. Large Sized and Combination Marines Tattoos
Some people really like to make a statement with their tattoo. A large tattoo with a unifying theme can be immensely satisfying. With something like a USMC tattoo you could combine the logo, the motto, the American flag and military symbolism such as a soldier. Because these disparate elements complement each other in both their size and appearance, this combination looks complete rather than clunky.
7. Marines Logo Tattoos
The marines logo is called the Eagle, Globe and Anchor or EGA. The modern EGA is an eagle perched on top of an anchor that is piercing the globe with the words SEMPER FIDELIS emblazoned across the top. The original emblem dates all the way back to 1776. Adopted by the USMC in 1868 and last updated in 1955 this is a symbol with a lot of history behind it.
There’s definitely a trend towards highly stylized artwork depicting the eagle in as badass way as possible. A simple execution of the logo is powerful enough on its own in my opinion but it depends on what look you’re going for overall. Small changes to the logo include the addition of color (usually red and blue) and rendering it in 3 dimensions. If you want a simple USMC tattoo you can’t go wrong with a small logo. You can also use the Eagle to tie in with other themes of military allegiance and Americana.
Marines Tattoos FAQs
What does the acronym USMC stand for?
United States Marine Corps, which is the branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force.
What does Semper Fidelis Mean?
Semper fidelis is a Latin phrase that means “always faithful,” or “always loyal”. It is the motto of the United States Marine Corps, usually shortened to Semper Fi.
Are Marines allowed visible tattoos?
Yes and no. Marines aren’t allowed tattoos that are visible outside of a PT uniform (t shirt and shorts) excluding ring tattoos. They also aren’t allowed full or half sleeves or anything racist, sexist or obscene. Chest, back, torso, upper arms, upper thighs and groin are all permitted.
Did you enjoy these Marines tattoos but are looking for inspirational ink from the Armed Forces? Click on the links below for more awesome galleries: